6 January 2020 at 9:39 pm #7016
A bit of background … I’ve been with my partner for 8 years, I always knew he gambled but I never thought anything more than the odd bet on the football, a trip to the races or ending up at a casino with his friends at the end of a night out.
After about 2 years we moved into a rented flat together and opened a joint account to pay bills and start saving for a deposit to eventually buy somewhere. I didn’t have the internet banking for this account and he was in charge of paying the bills.
One day I used the card at an atm and found it to be empty. It would’ve only had maybe a little over £1000 in it. I’d also lent him a considerable amount of money for other things like fixing his car (all of which I now realise was because he couldn’t manage it himself) but it’s not the money that’s important. This is when I found out about his gambling addiction. We ended up separating for about a year because having been treated badly in a previous relationship I couldn’t stand the break of trust.
He got help and we got back on track, though I would never again trust him with paying the bills etc. I have a good job and don’t rely on him for financial stability so I guess that helps.
Yesterday I found out he’d relapsed and had sunk even lower by stealing money from his place of work. He realised there was no way out so had to ask me for help to replace the money … which I did. I couldn’t risk him losing his job or getting into trouble with the police etc.
Would he have told me about this relapse had he not needed me to bail him out? I don’t think so.
I want to be supportive but I don’t think I can go through all this again. Am I just enabling his behaviour by always being there? Is he just with me to be his get out of jail card? Do I really want to continue my life with this Jekyll/Hyde character? How could I ever bring a child into this environment?
I feel so isolated as I don’t feel I can confide in friends/family anymore as I know their response would be to leave.
Sorry for the super long post. I don’t know what I’m hoping to gain, maybe just to speak to others who understand.6 January 2020 at 11:08 pm #7017C.stansParticipant
The story you tell I know very well, but from the other side. I have recently began trying to stop this repeatable process. I really simplifies with the situation that you are in.
The main thing that gets to me is when you break down how much further the two of you could be, How much more things you could have and the holidays you could have been on. Recently I watched the strongest women in my life break down all because I wanted to bet on a stupid football match. Try and just break it down to him, when you are gambling big stakes its easy to lose value of money. In the mind of a gambler they see this as an investment and not necessary in just money but time. Boredom can almost become crippling to someone who is always entertained.
1. Let him know that gambling is not his friend and that he should HATE it.
2. Break down finances and what you could have done with all that money.
3. Talk him through how this makes you feel. (Be it in person or message).
Good luck in this process, fingers crossed for you both,
Charlie.7 January 2020 at 8:00 am #7018
Thanks for your response. It is useful hearing these things from someone else on the ‘other side’.
I have touched on some of the things you mention with him but low self esteem is such a trigger for him and I worry by dwelling on these things to much I will send him even more into a downward spiral. I know I am not responsible for his behaviour and he absolutely should face the reality of his actions but I don’t want anything I say/do to make a bad situation worse.
Its such a mine field and having never suffered with addiction I really struggle to understand the mindset … to me it is so black and white. I’m finding this forum helpful in reading other people’s stories etc so I really do appreciate your response.7 January 2020 at 8:55 am #7019velvetModerator
Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page
Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
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You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team7 January 2020 at 12:33 pm #7020velvetModerator
What help did your partner get, how long ago did he seek that help and what prompted him to do so at that time? For many gamblers a life-time support is needed, it depends a lot on how much they are prepared to listen – and how much they accept the tools provided.
I am pleased that you don’t rely on him for financial security and I understand why you have bailed him out this time but normally I would be suggesting that a gambler’s debts are his responsibility because as soon as that responsibility is shouldered by someone else, the way is clear to gamble again – and sadly in your partners case, to get money in the same way again.
I suspect he would have gone deeper if he hadn’t realised what the consequences of his actions could be. We can only hope he will think about those consequences in advance before he is triggered to steal again in the hope that you will bail him out.
I fully understand why you don’t want to confide in friends and family and I know the response you get will probably be the one you expect – so – how about choosing someone you feel you can trust and tell them that your partner is a compulsive gambler; that you are seeking help; that you are willing to talk about the addiction but you don’t want opinions. Let them know yhou would like support for you at this time. Cut them off before they get to the ‘leave him’ bit.
Sadly, it will almost definitely be harder if a child enters this environment. At the moment your partner is not taking responsibility for himself and is therefore unlikely to be able to take responsibility for another very vulnerable human being.
The good news is that if he truly accepts his addiction and seeks good support, he can learn to live a gamble-free life which is often more exceptional for having fought this terrible addiction.
In my opinion it is unwise to give ultimatums unless you are positive that you can carry them out. If you believe that you cannot go through this again and you truly mean it, then you already know what is right for you.
Your partner needs support, I have never heard of anyone succeeding on their own. There is a lot of support nowadays as this addiction becomes more recognised. We have an excellent Helpline and ‘gambler only’ groups which are facilitated on Mondays and Thursday evenings. There are dedicated addiction counsellors and there is GA. Maybe you could find a Gam-Anon group for you, it is the sister group of GA.
I am going to leave my first reply to you there are wait to hear from you again. In the meantime, please look after yourself, your health matters, you matter. It would be great if you could join me in an F&F group where we can communicate in real time.
Velvet7 January 2020 at 5:10 pm #7021
Thanks for your reply. Its so useful to hear people’s thoughts and start to understand more/process/mull things over.
Following me initially finding out about his addiction a number of years ago he attended 1:1 sessions with gamcare And blocked himself from a number of sites (not like the blanket ban I believe you can do now). We broke up for around a year at that time. Since we got back together I have not lent him any other money and I know he has been paying off his debts. Rather naively I assumed it was all sorted. It’s only since this ‘relapse’ that I understand it needs to be a lifelong commitment.
Reading the great number of stories on this site is helping to educate me on this illness, but having never suffered with addiction myself I struggle to understand the mindset – it’s so black and white to me.
Will try to access the f+f group. Thankyou again19 January 2020 at 6:05 pm #7022FivesensesbmiParticipant
I have started gambling with $5 and ended up gambling everything, it is true, I’ve trusted but I also have lost trust. I have been gambling with my spouse, too. Opening up this subject, it’s best to just listen, once again Im trying alone, and always tempted, 1 + 1 week; pretty hard to quit, I can’t wait to use a group again
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